Thanks for all of you guys’ superb responses and dms after my Half I put up about blended households and bonus mothers – I used to be doing a Q&A on tales yesterday and realized I by no means posted the half 2! I really like with the ability to convey a extra open dialog round blended households and motherhood as a bonus mama.
Q: Do you get an extended with Cody’s ex-wife? Do you guys hang around?
A. Im actually grateful all of us get an extended.
One factor I wanted might have been completely different for me rising up, was that when my dad and mom obtained divorced they’d have been associates (I really like each my dad and mom very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, nevertheless it was onerous at instances feeling that rigidity). They lived throughout the nation from one another, in order that they didn’t must see one another a lot. After I would go to go to my mother I’d fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my dad and mom would stroll me to the gate and you then sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself. I even have a number of enjoyable recollections with tremendous variety flight attendants who would play video games and stuff with me. I believe that is additionally a part of the rationale I realized to grow to be fairly unbiased at a younger age, and touring alone hasn’t ever actually scared me however in any case…), however ya I nonetheless at all times felt that awkward rigidity at any time when they have been in the identical room. I keep in mind even on my marriage ceremony day worrying about ensuring each dad and mom felt they obtained equal consideration and love. And perhaps that was one thing I created in my head, nevertheless it made me wish to make it a precedence once we obtained married that we now have a superb relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the youngsters by no means felt that rigidity or stress, and so we might all go to the youngsters occasions and it not be awkward. Once more, this was not an in a single day factor, it took years to get to that time. Particularly if this can be a recent scenario, it’s going to take a number of time. However as a child who has been on that facet of divorce, that was one factor I actually needed completely different for our children.
Time, time, time! I believe all of it simply takes time, however I really like speaking to their mother concerning the children and sharing pleasure for the issues they’re doing, or issues they’re studying or going by. All of us sit by one another at many of the children video games and occasions, it’s in a superb place.
Q. Do you get a say in making the entire selections about colleges and such. How do you take care of that side?
A. Lengthy story quick, I’ve no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is likely one of the onerous components of being a bonus mother, you like your bonus infants and assist elevate them however in my case I’m probably not a choice maker. I imply everyday what we’re doing Cody and I resolve, however greater selections Cody and his ex spouse work out collectively.
Q. Because the bonus mothers/dad and mom, are you concerned in communication to his ex or simply Cody?
A. In our scenario, Cody and his ex work out particulars for probably the most half. Clearly there are occasions when Cody continues to be at work or out of city or one thing so I decide up/drop off the youngsters, and so forth. however the majority of communication is between her and Cody. We lately began a bunch textual content for sports activities and faculty scheduling and typically share footage of the youngsters from college or sports activities too, however most scheduling goes by them.
Q. How do you deal with frustration along with your step children’ schedule?
A. One factor that took time for me to understand and perceive is that whenever you’re a step father or mother (not at all times the case, however no less than in my scenario) even in case you all get alongside, on the finish of the day you will have little say over holidays, college schedules, actually simply plans on the whole. For me, any individual who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s typically onerous. For instance, once we have been attempting to plan a visit and I’d ask Cody if he had texted the youngsters’ mother to verify sure days work and I’d need quick solutions for issues 😂 and he’s like I haven’t talked to her but, and I’m all properly name proper now, what’s the maintain up 😂😂 I ultimately realized that 1) typically you don’t get quick solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you’ll’t count on quick responses on a regular basis and a pair of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it might with your personal children, so it’s a must to plan forward a little bit additional.
Q. Do you will have full custody? How usually and the way lengthy do your bonus children stick with you?
A. We have now joint custody so it alters. Proper now, each different week we now have them for Thursday/Friday, after which the subsequent week 4 days Thursday-Sunday.
Q. Would you ever journey with out the bonus children?
A. I believe our scenario is a little bit completely different as a result of we LOVE to journey and in addition journey fairly a bit for work, however we at all times be sure that to plan all our “massive journeys” once we can go collectively as a household. For instance we normally do a giant 2 week journey each summer season and we at all times try this with all the youngsters. (One exception is like spring break – we alter years with their mother for spring break so if Mara and Wes are with their mother these days, we’ll nonetheless take Beckam and Ollie on a spring break journey). If your loved ones usually solely goes on 1 or 2 journeys a 12 months, I’d for positive attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. We have now a lot enjoyable once we journey with all the youngsters and Beckam and Ollie love being with Mara and Wes as a lot as we do, so we want we might at all times journey collectively nevertheless it doesn’t at all times work out that approach. That’s one other factor you notice after you will have children of your own- each dad and mom need as a lot time as they’ll with their children. If it’s a problem to get extra days or change schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and notice their different father or mother desires to hang around with them as a lot as potential too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless disenchanted events, however its sort of an “it’s what it’s” scenario. However truthfully it at all times appears like one thing is lacking once we journey with out them.
Q. Do they go college half-hour away? How does that work?
A. They used to reside 10 minutes away from us for like 8 years and lately they moved a pair cities away. I’m so grateful they’re nonetheless inside driving distance as a result of for me rising up, that wasn’t the case, so I’m simply grateful we nonetheless get to see them a lot. However it has undoubtedly made it a little bit more difficult, particularly now that they’re in a number of sports activities, and Mara and Wes are in two completely different colleges (junior excessive and elementary) they go at completely different instances. Everybody has completely different practices and schedules after college, so it will get busy however we’re glad they’re nonetheless shut.
Q. Are they open to speaking about issues they do with their mother round you?
A. I really feel like they’re tremendous open with us, however I suppose I wouldn’t really understand how a lot they’re selecting to share. I do know as a child, typically I’d really feel nervous telling the opposite father or mother what I used to be doing after I was with my different father or mother (even now typically, really haha) as a result of I didn’t wish to make the opposite father or mother really feel unhealthy, so I hope Mara and Wes don’t really feel that approach but additionally I suppose I can’t know 100% for positive since we aren’t with them 24/7.
Q. How do you cut up up firsts or particular instances with their mother and also you guys?
We haven’t had a number of firsts the place we are able to’t each present up someplace to help them. For his or her first time to Disney, we did ask the youngsters’ mother if we might take them however apart from that, there haven’t been a number of instances when we have to cut up up firsts.
Q. How do you guys deal with holidays/birthdays?
It’s sort of modified over time. We at all times cut up Christmas – I do know thats not as common. I believe lots of people do each different Christmas. Thanksgiving and Spring Break we alternate yearly. Generally Easter falls over Spring Break, and so forth. Birthdays have modified – typically we alternate years and typically we keep on with the schedule. Once they have been youthful, one particular person would get them the evening earlier than and half of their birthday, after which the opposite would get the opposite half of the day and the evening. At first I believe everybody was hypersensitive and micromanaging time and issues have relaxed since then. I’d get within the mentality of attempting to verify all the things was ‘truthful’. However in a blended household, it’s unattainable to make all the things 100% truthful.
We’d even have traditions that we do yearly with the youngsters, like carving pumpkins and adorning gingerbread homes. And we’ll wait to do these traditions till we now have Mara and Wes with us so we are able to do all of it collectively as a household. I believe it makes the vacations really feel extra particular and we’re much more intentional about our time collectively throughout these instances.
Q. Do you are feeling it is advisable to know different bonus mothers for help? I don’t have anybody in my life.
A. I do know like one or two different bonus mothers however now that I’m desirous about it I don’t know if I’ve ever actually talked to them a ton about it. My step mother is and I’ve talked to her after all 🙂 We have now 2 step dads inside our prolonged household, however in any other case I really feel like my bodily circle of bonus mothers is fairly small. For those who’re becoming a member of a web-based group of different blended households, I’d search for one which’s aim is a optimistic household surroundings – there are such a lot of that may grow to be tremendous detrimental and that power will simply detract. However I believe bonus mothers generally is a nice help for one another.
DISCIPLINE/PARENTING FOR BLENDED FAMILIES:
Q. Did you do any self-discipline after they have been youthful?
A. Sure, however nothing main.
Q. How do you not step on any toes/do you are feeling like you’ll be able to self-discipline them? Do you ever put boundaries or is it Cody’s ‘job’?
A. I by no means need Mara and Wes to really feel like they get handled otherwise, so we attempt to say constant by all the things and that features with disciplining and guidelines. For instance: In the event that they make a multitude in the lounge with Beckam, I wouldn’t solely make Beckam clear it. And in the event that they don’t pay attention, which they’re children and typically they don’t haha, they are going to get a special chore. However I try this actual factor for all the youngsters.
There are 10000% instances I’ll say to Cody although, will you be the enforcer this time, I don’t need them to hate me. And typically he’ll, and different instances he’s like you’re nonetheless a mother to them, they love you and it’s okay for them to have penalties. I believe he gages my temper haha. I’ve been of their life over 10 years, and know they love me, however typically nonetheless fear “what in the event that they suppose I’m the evil step mother!” So I believe you gage what feels most pure and comfy for you.
Q. Do you give your bonus children chores?
A. 100%, however the entire children have weekly chores (– one factor Cody and I each really feel strongly about is educating our children work ethic, in order that goes for all the youngsters clearly). For us it simply wouldn’t make sense if solely Beckam and Ollie have been doing weekly chores and Mara and Wes simply sat on the sofa. We’re a household and all of us have tasks.
Do I ever really feel responsible about it? There are some instances when it’s the final hour or two earlier than Mara and Wes return to their mother’s home and Cody tells them they should clear up a multitude and decide up the room, and I inform him they solely have 1 hour left and to allow them to simply have enjoyable. He says no, they’re nonetheless our children they want maintain their tasks, which is absolutely what we might do with Beckam and Ollie. So the instances when I’m a little bit extra lax about chores or selecting up after themselves is earlier than they go away, however in the course of the common everyday, they do the identical issues my children do. (And Cody is absolutely good about being constant irrespective of the circumstances.)
Okay that wraps up this put up! Numerous you will have questions or recommendation about coping with organic mothers or establishing a bond along with your bonus infants – I’m actually wish to be an open ebook and share as a lot as I can, so I’ll save that for the subsequent few posts, together with suggestions for bonus mothers and suggestions for bio mothers since I obtained a couple of questions from you guys too ❤️ I’ve cherished listening to from you all about your personal blended households and the way a lot you like your bonus infants!